Management procedure for skipjack was a huge achievement says PIFS

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The annual meeting of the countries involved in the world’s largest and most lucrative tuna fishery concluded in Vietnam on Saturday.

RNZ reports the 26 members of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission to constitute resource-owning island nations and foreign countries whose fleets sail thousands of nautical miles to fish the tuna-rich waters of the Pacific.

Although polar opposites, the members were able to compromise enough to adopt – among other things – a new management procedure for skipjack tuna, agree on new conservation measures for sharks and commit to placing climate change at the forefront of all future undertakings of the regional fisheries management organization, also known as the Pacific Tuna Commission.

The secretary general of the Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency, Manu Tupou-Roosen, said for its 17 member countries the adoption of the management procedure for skipjack was a huge achievement.

“This allows us to have more certainty in this fishery, in terms of setting out predetermined levels of fishing for the skipjack stock based on the performance of the fishery,” Dr. Tupou-Roosen said.

She also said it is the first time that this commission has set up a management procedure for one of the four major tuna stocks – the other three being bigeye, yellowfin, and southern albacore tuna.

“So, it is a significant step. And it is a credit to the members leading the way and continuing to drive the work of the Commission.”